Author: East Texas Review

Spoofing’s Not a Joke: Thousands Hit by Phone Scam

By: Judy Sarasohn, HHS (Public Affairs) Summary: The OIG hotline phone number for reporting fraud —1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) was spoofed. A Jacksonville, Florida, woman received a call last month that appeared to be from the HHS Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) hotline. The caller told her that she had won a $9,000 grant from the federal government and all she had to do was either wire $250 to him through Western Union or give him the confirmation code for a $250 iTunes gift card. The man also wanted her to confirm her name, address and some other personal facts. She became...

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Smith County Veterans Court to Add Felony Cases

After starting the Veterans Treatment Court for misdemeanor offenders, Smith County Veteran Services Officer Mike Roark is working to begin a program for some felony cases. The purpose of the court is to work with veterans charged with certain offenses to get them necessary treatment for any mental health issues and to return them to being productive members of society. Goals set for those going through the program include finding a job and securing their finances; and going to alcohol, drug or anger management meetings and treatment. Three people have successfully completed the Veterans Treatment Court since the program for misdemeanor offenders began in 2015. One person has had their record expunged and one is going through the process, Roark said. Six people are currently going through the program, which takes one to one and a half years to complete, and two will graduate in August. All of those going through the program have pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated offenses, Roark said. To be eligible for the program, a veteran has to admit his guilt to a qualifying misdemeanor offense, and have a traumatic brain injury or a psychological disorder, such as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), related to their military service or a military sexual trauma. The crime committed cannot be a premeditated one. Smith County Commissioners, the Veterans Affairs North Texas Health Care System and the VA...

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Jonah movie: Whom would you like God to punish?

By Rusty Wright So, if there is a God, and he punishes evildoers, whom would you especially like him to judge?  And if he gave that person(s) a second chance – to follow him – would you be pleased or disappointed? Maybe you can identify with Jonah – the biblical prophet, and subject of a new movie – whom God told to offer his hated enemies the opportunity to repent.  Our hero ran the other way, spent three days and nights in a fish’s belly, and became angry when his foes turned heavenward.  Go figure. Ancient stories, modern relevance...

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Young Adult Job Fair Set for Tuesday

Smith County Commissioner JoAnn Hampton is teaming up with Workforce Solutions East Texas to host a job fair for young adults on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. “Summer will soon be here and kids getting out of high school and college will need to find jobs,” Commissioner Hampton said. “We want to help our youth find gainful employment, while helping Smith County employers find good workers at the same time.” Workforce Solutions East Texas has been serving youth in the East Texas area for 40-plus years through various programs. Workforce Solutions serves an average of 390 youth per year in...

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Smith County Early Voting to Begin Monday

Early voting for the city and school elections in Smith County begins Monday, April 24, 2017. The Smith County Elections Office is responsible for conducting all elections — not only for county offices — but also for city, school, state and federal elections. The Smith County Elections Office will be conducting elections for races in the Tyler, Whitehouse, Chapel Hill, Bullard, Arp and Winona Independent School Districts and the cities of Tyler, Lindale, Hideaway and Winona. Early voting will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, April 24, through Saturday, April 29; and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, May 1-2, 2017. Election Day is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, 2017. EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS The Main Early Voting Location is the R.B. Hubbard Center, “The Hub,” at 304 E. Ferguson in Tyler. Additional early voting locations include the Heritage Building, 1900 Bellwood Road in Tyler; Whitehouse Municipal Court, 311 E. Main St. in  Whitehouse; and the Noonday Community Center, 16662 County Road 196 in Tyler. Temporary branch early voting locations include 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, only at Boulter Middle School, 2926 Garden Valley Road in Tyler; and the First Church of the Nazarene, 3700 Old Bullard Road in Tyler. Voting places that will be available for early voting and on election day include: Bullard First...

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